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Researchers found that for every 10 mmHg increase in blood pressure, the risk of stroke widened between white women and men, and the risk of stroke across increasing levels of blood pressure was about twice as high in women than men. These sex differences did not hold true, however, among black men and women, even though this group experienced more severe hypertension than whites. The dramatic contrast in stroke risk between men and women suggests a need for closer examination of how hypertension behaves in each group, Madsen said. Women have too often been underrepresented in clinical trials, despite their higher prevalence for stroke and stroke-related mortality.

Not everyone agrees these findings point to a potential need for sex-specific guidelines for treating hypertension. That issue was evaluated when the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology developed new guidelines for controlling blood pressure in , said Dr. Paul Whelton, who chaired the guideline writing committee.

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People are considered to have high blood pressure if their systolic, or top number, is or higher or their diastolic, the bottom number, is 80 or higher. He said the new study's findings surprised him, but more research is needed before making any conclusions. Madsen's team also looked at how the number of hypertensive medications a person was taking impacted their risk for stroke. They found the more medications it took to maintain good blood pressure control, the higher that person's stroke risk. This held equally true for both men and women. It's because their blood pressure is more difficult to control or resistant to treatment.

Madsen said the study points to the need to gather more sex-specific data in future investigations. The Red Cross encourages individuals to learn more about blood donation eligibility. The Red Cross will no longer ask donors to answer both male and female questions when attempting to donate. There is no deferral associated with being transgender, and eligibility will be based upon the criteria associated with the gender the donor has reported.

See additional blood donation eligibility criteria. Red Cross staff members are required to verbally confirm demographic information, including gender, with all presenting donors.

3 Inches of Blood - Men of Fortune

This step helps ensure donor safety and accuracy of records. If Red Cross records have the incorrect gender, presenting donors may ask staff members to make the change upon registration. Individuals do not need to tell staff that they are transgender. Individuals with specific questions about eligibility can contact the Red Cross Donor and Client Support Center at Individuals do not need to tell staff that they are intersex. The Red Cross values all potential blood donors and understands that selecting either male or female may not align with how some individuals identify.

The Red Cross also knows that there is a difference between biological sex and gender. Individuals who do not have sex with another person may be eligible to donate blood. Individuals who have been deferred for MSM in the past may initiate donor reinstatement as early as January by contacting the Red Cross Donor and Client Support Center at Individuals who have been deferred for MSM in the past may begin receiving phone calls to schedule donation appointments as early as January First time donors may be eligible to donate blood. Individuals will need to call the Donor and Client Support Center at to confirm their eligibility before coming to donate.


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Individuals who have been deferred for MSM in the past may initiate donor reinstatement as early as January by contacting the Donor and Client Support Center. Red Cross staff members at blood drives do not have access to remove previous deferrals from donor records.

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I am a man who has sex with another man; do I really have to be celibate for 12 months before giving blood? I am a man who has not had sex with another man in more than 12 months, can I donate blood? Men who have not had sex with another man in more than 12 months are not deferred by the MSM guidance and may be eligible to donate blood. If an individual has been previously deferred from donating blood, that individual will need to call the Donor and Client Support Center at to confirm eligibility before coming to donate.

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I am a trans man, and I have been eligible to donate because my assigned sex at birth was female. However, I have had sex with another man. Can I donate blood? Individuals who identify as male and have had sex with another man within the past 12 months will be deferred under the MSM policy.

Learn more about MSM blood donation criteria.

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Further questions may be directed to the Donor and Client Support Center at I am a trans woman, and I have not been eligible to donate because my assigned sex at birth was male, and I had sex with a man. Individuals who identify as female and have sex with a man, may be eligible to donate blood, if all other blood donation eligibility criteria are applicable.

If an individual was previously deferred from donating blood due to MSM, that person will need to call the Donor and Client Support Center at to confirm eligibility before coming to donate. Additional eligibility questions may also be answered through the Donor and Client Support Center. The Red Cross tests each unit of donated blood for a number of infectious diseases. While testing has greatly improved, it is not percent effective at detecting infectious diseases in donors with very early infection.